The ICC Development Africa Conference was a five-day meeting from 26 – 30 April 2019 which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek. The ICC Africa Conference is held annually by ICC bringing together the 19 Associates and 2 full member countries to review the past year, share successful events and plan for the upcoming year. This Africa Regional Conference was all about innovation; thinking differently; and celebrating & empowering Africa’s Leaders.
It has been five years since we last received an award from the ICC, which was when we were awarded as the Best Overall Cricket Development in Africa in 2014. This year Cricket Namibia received an award for the Most Improved Association in Africa during 2018, which was presented by the International Cricket Council at a gala event in Windhoek on Saturday 27 April 2019.
The criteria that ICC considered for the Most Improved award was the improvement made in the last 12 months regarding the development structure, governance, player’s performance and efficiency of the Cricket Namibia office. We have been, and still are working on improving governance, relating more with each other and making good decisions that will influence the right direction of the organisation. In March this year we hosted the U19 World Cup Africa qualifier, whilst in April we hosted the World Cricket League 2 Final Qualifier as well as the Africa Regional High-Performance Conference and the ICC Regional Conference all during the same overlapping period. CN has worked hard as an organisation and have created a culture of unity which we have been practicing on and off the field. On the field we came out as the champions in the tournament whereby we have gained ODI status after 16 years; off the field our efforts have been recognised by the ICC with the award of this prestigious trophy.
Our Board has made it clear that our long-term objective is to make cricket the sport of choice for Namibia, to offer a professional career to men’s and women’s players alike and to represent Namibia in the best possible light on the world stage.
Our recent successes on off the field are a clear indication that we are moving in the right direction. It is particularly encouraging to note the positive reaction of all of the participants to recent tournaments and conferences in Namibia. We all understand that sport is a team event, but what is also not always remembered is that the team is not only the players on the field but also a huge array of often unknown and largely unrecognised supporters. Appreciation must be given to this extended team, such everyone who worked so hard to make the grounds and facilities ready and of international standard, the hotel staff, the transport companies (especially the drivers!), the security personnel, ambulance and emergency staff, caterers, ground staff, venue managers, liaison officers, the visa consultants, officials of Home Affairs and the Namibia Sports Commission, equipment suppliers (often at strange hours of the day!), scorers, umpires, casuals, sponsors, a whole range of volunteers and lastly, but not least, the wonderful office staff. Each and every one is part of our success and a further indication of the ability of Namibia as a nation to rise to any occasion.
We have made many mistakes over the past few years and will continue to make mistakes in the future. We fail because we are genuinely trying to grow and improve rather than stand still, and we measure these failures against the successes that sometimes come later. The recent ICC award is testimony that our successes have outnumbered our failures and we look forward to continuing to improve in the future.
We have so much talent in our country and we welcome every young player that wants to be part of our system and to help cricket in Namibia grow!
Prepared by Natalia Nauyoma
+264 61 223 818